Keep your knifes in sharp condition with these simple tips to care for your knife. Our Knife Skills series is sponsored by Cutco.
Hooray! You just bought a brand new knife. It’s extremely sharp and shiny and you are on a mission to keep it that way to be able to slice rutabagas, turnips and radishes with ease. Say goodbye to dull, lifeless knifes with these helpful knife care tips:
Keeping Them Sharp
One of the main reasons to keep your knife sharp is for safety. A sharp knife glides and cuts through food more easily, thus you will not be adding extensive pressure to cut through the food. A dull knife can slip and oops, we better get cleaned up and call take-out.
The following sharpening tips are for straight-edge knifes such as: chef’s knives, paring knives and slicers. Serrated knives cannot be sharpened at home and must be sent in to be sharpened.
There are two products which will keep your knives sharp: a honing steel and a sharpener. The honing steel is for everyday use while the sharpener is when your knife gets dull and a quick hone is not enough to get that sharp edge.
In using a steel, hold your knife in your prominent hand (in my case, my right) and the steel in your left. At the top of the steel place the butt of the blade against the steel at a 20° angle and pull towards you at an angle so the entirety of your knife is pulled against the steel. Switch sides of the steel (you are placing the knife on the other side of the steel and repeating the process) and repeat about 10 times. Wipe your knife to get rid of any metal shaving that came off.
Washing Your Knives
While a dishwasher is a fantastic machine for most of your dishes, we advise not using it for your knives. The dishwashing detergent has been said to dull the knives and discolor the steel. Instead, use a mild detergent and hand wash your knives, making sure to never leave them in a sink of bubbly dishwater. Not only can this stain the knives but you can also cut yourself if you reach in and hit the blade.
Use The Right Tools
To make sure you are using your knives safety and effectively we recommend storing your knives in a wooden block. This keeps them stored away yet within easy reach whenever you need a knife.
Disclosure: This article is sponsored by Cutco. All opinions are ours and honest.
This post originally appeared in September 2016 and was revised and republished in March 2020.